About the Artist
Ruth Bedeian was born in Pittsburgh Pennsylvania. She is a visual artist and retired Visual Arts Specialist for the Pittsburgh Public Schools, where she taught for thirty four years. Ruth is a formally trained artist with a B. A. from Mansfield University. Ruth attended graduate school at the University of Pittsburgh for English Literature.
Her media is primarily fiber, though she has a background in painting, calligraphy, design and mixed media. For many years her focus has been quilting where she tries to meld many of these skills. Through her quilts she explores her African- American heritage, personal history and the traditions of Africans before America.
Much of her influence comes by way of African American Literature which was a specific focus of her studies. For Ruth the poetry of Jean Toomer and Langston Hughes as well as the novels of Zora Neale Hurston, are just as impactful as the the collages of Romare Bearden, the paintings of Jacob Lawrence or John Biggers. Ruth likes to think that her work explores what W.E.B. Dubois called, “The Souls of Black Folks.”
Inspiration is also taken from a variety of textile arts, masking traditions and African mythologies. She began her journey inspired by a great grandmother who made traditional quits from discarded family clothing. While initially viewing herself as a painter her love of color and pattern transformed itself into quilting. She moved away from geometric patterns to free forms which allowed for more exploration of Africanisms. She was a founding member of the First African American Quilt Guild in Pittsburgh. As a member of the Women of Visions artist collective she draws knowledge and inspiration.
Currently Ruth has work at the Indiana University of Pennsylvania in an exhibit called “Soul of a Region.” Two other shows this year where her work was exhibited were the Carnegie Museum of Art Pittsburgh, in a Women of Visions exhibit celebrating forty years as a collective. And secondly, at the University of Pittsburgh University Gallery with a show called, “Women of Visions, Celebrating 40 Years.”
2022 - Soul of a Region, Indiana University of Pennsylvania
2022- Future Visions, Carnegie Museum of Art,
2022- University of Pittsburgh, When of Visions,
Celebrating 40 yrs
2022- Magnificent Motown, Kenkeleba Gallery NYC
2022- Progeny of Change, Brewhouse Gallery
2021- Magnificent Motown: Art Inspired by the Music of
Motown, Kelly Strayhorn Theater, Pittsburgh, PA.
2021 - WOV Celebrating Forty Years Touchstone Center
for Crafts, Farmington, PA
2021 - Celebrating Forty Creative Years, BNY Satellite
Gallery, Pittsburgh, PA
2020 - Creatives in the Era of Covid, Pittsburgh Center for
the Arts, Pittsburgh, PA
2020- Sankofa Legacy, Undercroft Gallery, Pittsburgh, PA
2019 - Seats of Power, August Wilson African American
Cultural Center, Pittsburgh,
2018 - Art on the Walls: A Retrospective Moment, Greater
Pittsburgh Arts Council Gallery, Pittsburgh, PA
2018 - Sankofa Soul: Past, Present and Future, Pittsburgh
Center for the Arts, Pittsburgh, PA
2017 - Parts, Patterns and Pieces, BYN Mellon Satellite
Gallery, Pittsburgh, PA